Talking in Rome during a food security conference, Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva complained that the leaders of the First World give little attention to world hunger and accused those countries of sabotaging the agriculture of poor nations.
While there were about 60 countries represented in what was supposed to be a summit, leaders of the United States, Great Britain and France were absent. The conference had the ambitious goal of creating a new global way to fight hunger. A target hard to hit when the main sponsors of the effort do not show up.
In his speech, at FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), a branch of the UN, Lula lamented that the world leaders "seem to have lost their ability to get indignant at a suffering that's so far from their reality and life experience." He reminded people, however, that these same rich countries "did not hesitate to spend hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars to save bankrupt banks."
"With less than half of these expenditures it would have been possible to eradicate hunger in the world. It is as if hunger were invisible."
Lula pointed out that the US$ 20 billion that leaders of the G-8 (seven wealthier countries plus Russia) and the G-5 (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa and India) pledged for fighting hunger during the July summit in L'Aquila, is far from enough.
In another front, that of the environment, the Brazilian president said he still believes that a global pact to curb CO2 is possible despite news that the United States and China have discarded the possibility of reaching an agreement when the world leaders meet in Copenhagen in December.
Lula told reporters that he not only will be there but that he believes that a concrete accord can be reached at that time.
"I'm going to Copenhagen, in the 16 and 17 of December. I have arranged with president Sarkozy, I have arranged with prime-minister Gordon Brown. I hope that they will manage to advance, at least, to adopt some basic principles so that we are able to reduce greenhouse gases," stated Lula.
Lula also revealed that he would be calling this Tuesday, American president Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao to discuss proposals against global warming:
"All of them will have to present numbers, even president Obama and president Hu Jintao. And all the others," said Lula, adding:
"If they don't present them today, they will present them tomorrow. If they don't present it tomorrow they are going to present them next month. If they don't present them next month, they are going to present them next year. But the concrete fact is that they don't have a way to escape!"